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Teenage Son Is Doing "Great" While Living With His Dad?

Hi Mark, As you may remember, my son has been at his dad's for over a week. His Dad has told me that he's doing great, says he's not doing pot anymore, catching up on internet homework etc. The mom in me is happy about that however am wondering how this could happen so quickly. Could dad be falling for a line of crap? I miss him terribly and am very hurt that all this has happened, I really want my child back, happy and healthy; in your experience, has the relationship with a parent and child ever been mended? I'm so afraid I've lost him forever. I know I have to work on myself and gain respect. This is all SO hard. ~ T.


Hi T.,

Re: Could dad be falling for a line of crap?

==> Probably.

Re: In your experience, has the relationship with a parent and child ever been mended?

==> I’ve lost track of the number of incidences similar to yours. It usually goes like this:
  • 18-year-old has been over-indulged most of his life 
  • 18-year-old moves out – or is kicked out – after a terrible ugly scene 
  • 18-year-old goes several months without any contact with parent due to a bad case of resentment flu 
  • After 3 – 12 months, the now young adult has recovered from his resentment flu and has gained some knowledge of how the “real” world operates (for the first time in his life) 
  • By virtue of (a) time away from the parent and (b) emotional maturation (i.e., the emergence of personal and behavioral characteristics through growth processes), the young adult returns to the parent-child relationship in the emotional and communicational sense (he sometimes returns physically – living with the parent again – in those cases where he was unable to function independently; a failure to launch)

Things are never as BAD as they seem, so don’t adopt the mistaken belief that you will never have a relationship with your son again.

Also, things are never as GOOD as they seem, so don’t be surprised if you get a call from your son’s dad regarding problems with your son (although, it’s very possible that your son’s dad will cover-up any difficulties in order to (a) “save face” and (b) “give the impression” that he can do a better job parenting).


==> My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

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